No matter what industry you operate in, businesses need to find ways to stand out and reach their target audience. Creating and sharing various types of content is one of the most effective methods to accomplish this. Content can help businesses attract the right audience, build credibility in their industry, convert prospects into paying clients, and much more.
This article will introduce you to a content calendar, its benefits for small businesses, tips for creating a content calendar, why you should have one, and lots more.
What is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar, also often called an “editorial calendar,” is a system that helps marketers plan, organize and manage the various types of content that they intend to create, publish and share across various platforms. Content calendars can be used to organize a company’s upcoming blog posts, status updates, social media posts, planning promotional activities, partnership announcements, press releases, and updates to existing content (usually for website content.)
However, editorial calendars also include the expected time frame for creating content, responsible parties, and other relevant information that will be helpful to the project. Indeed, the content calendar is the ultimate planner for marketers.
What should a content calendar contain? Aside from the dates or schedule of publication, most calendars also contain the following:
- The topic or theme of the content
- Channels or platform
It is perhaps important to mention that a content calendar is not to be confused with what is often called an ideas backlog, where you list down content ideas. Your content calendar should only feature content that has been planned or is already in the pipeline.
Why Small Businesses Should Have A Content Calendar
1. Get Organized, Save Time
Anyone who has worked on a project knows that organization is important and can go a long way in determining its success or otherwise. This is especially true for content marketing where you can easily suffer from writers’ block, get overwhelmed with schedules or deadlines, or managing several moving parts at the same time. A content calendar is a great way to organize your marketing efforts and make the process more efficient.
Planning your content can also help you save time because you won’t need to constantly think about what content to create since that information would already be available. This will also make it easier to publish content consistently.
2. Focus On Your Goals
Perhaps the most important benefit of a content calendar is that it encourages and enables you to be goal-oriented with your content production. Instead of posting whatever comes to mind for the day, you sit down once or twice a year to think about what you want to communicate through your posts and plan accordingly. It’s much easier to recognize and improve your marketing goals or tactic when you look at it at the macro-level rather than from the day-to-day perspective.
Tips For Creating A Kickass Content Calendar
Decide Post Frequency and be Consistent
As you create your content calendar, you should establish how frequently you will post your content. Keep in mind that this should differ for every platform. Blogs or articles may be published only 3 to 4 times a month, while a social media post may need to be published multiple times a day or daily. You need to decide how many times you should post and be consistent.
Research Unique Topics
Before you start with your calendar, first conduct research on topics to write about. It would be helpful to start with an ideas backlog where you input all your ideas related to the subjects you intend to cover. During your research, look for ideas or topics that are relevant to your company or industry while also considering what your clients would be interested in.
For example, a small business attorney should write or post about topics that entrepreneurs or small business owners would find useful, such as how to create an LLC or other business entities, contract matters, business litigation, and more.
Create Content Silos
A content silo is a fancy term for the process of grouping related content together on your website. This helps to establish your website’s themes or subject matters, which will make it easier for your readers to find relevant and related content that they are looking for or interested in.
An example is when a real estate attorney or law firm publishes several articles related to buying and selling a property, commercial and residential property leasing, real estate financing, and more. But just as importantly, it organizes these articles so that they can all be found in the same place or ‘folder’ on their website.
A content silo can also be important to your overall SEO strategy as it can help to position your website as an authority on the specific subject matter that it is writing on, which may then encourage search engines to serve it more often to searchers.
Content Format and Channels
Generally speaking, the two major components of a content calendar are the content format and channels. The content format is the type of content you publish, such as blogs, articles, infographics, videos, or social media posts. Content channels are the platforms on which you will publish this content, such as a website or blog, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok.
A content calendar and the research and planning that goes into it will help you determine which content format would be most appropriate for which channel. In doing this, you are likely giving the content that you ultimately produce the best chance of being successful and reaching the appropriate target audience.
Your editorial calendar is the ultimate planner for your marketing efforts—maximize it by tracking the following:
As you delve deeper into content marketing, you will be able to establish key performance indicators for successful posts or those that reach the broadest audience and converts the most users into clients. You should, therefore, use your content calendar to track your posts’ success and progress. This will help you establish the type of most successful posts for your site and possibly help you plan which content to produce more of in the future.
With help from your content calendar, you can track and improve your workflow to make it more efficient. You will also be able to track the progress of each piece as it is being produced so that you don’t miss an important deadline.
In conclusion, the success of a digital marketing campaign can be greatly enhanced by the inclusion and use of a content calendar. Likewise, a successful digital marketing campaign can be the difference between the growth of a small business or one that ultimately shrivels up and dies because of a lack of paying customers or clients. The moral of the story, therefore, is that you should be sure to use a content calendar as a tool to grow your small business and take it to greater heights.
Kanayo Okwuraiwe is part of the content marketing and business development team at the law firm of Small Business Attorney NYC. He also has vast experience in digital marketing, loves to play chess read books and watch movies in his spare time.